A recent article in the New York Timers referred to the lack of diversity in the fashion industry as Fashion’s “blind spot, noting only 6% of African-American models were casted to walk the runways in at New York Fashion Week this past February. To combat this disparity in the industry, an innovative fashion experience is emerging in New York City this fall: Fro Fashion Week. Already in its 6th season, the Atlanta-based event is planning to take the East Coast by storm by bringing its highly anticipated event to Brooklyn, NY this September 5-8th. The week will consist of workshops, pop up salons, trunk shows, and an after party.
The festivities will culminate with a GOTHIX themed fashion show on September 7th, which will feature fashions of 6 upcoming designers chosen from across the US. The runway will be host to a diverse selection of models with various curly, kinky and coily hair textures, a non-traditional presence currently missing in the fashion industry. Also different from the credentials-only shows at NY Fashion Week, Fro Fashion Week offers designers, models and attendees the chance to be a part of the excitement of fashion week, an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t be given.
“Not everyone can find themselves in New York Fashion Week,” says Valaira Sa-Ra, Executive Producer of the ‘Fro Fashion Show. “We wanted to bring Fro Fashion Week to New York because we cater to a demographic that isn’t typically represented.”
The featured designers presented at GOTHIX are:
- D’Andra Williams, Renee Fredrique (Queens, NYC)
- Chantel Gibbs, Shannon Shenone (Elmont, NY)
- Ronnisha De’Lynn, Aura Clothing (Kansas City, Missouri)
- Antoinette Middleton, I AM Designs (Bradenton, Florida)
- Raqui Rhodes, Necessories by Raqui (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Valeri Reaves, MyMeApparel (Atlanta, Georgia)
The show will be hosted by blogger Rochelle “BlackOnyx” Graham and exclusive backstage coverage provided by NaturallyCurly.com.
For more event information including ticket sales and show times, visit www.frofashionweek.com.
Laura Smalls has been on the fashion scene since for some time; bit now she has become a household name since Michelle Obama wore one of her designs for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. A graduate of Parson’s school of Design in 1976, Laura started small selling a handful of designs at Blookingdales and Henri Bendel. Soon after, she was approached by Vogue to show at New York Fashion Week showing her one of a kind pieces and then subsequently showing a collection of evening dresses and cocktail gowns at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in South Africa.
Small’s designs are that of classic elegance, beauty and grace. She chooses fabrics that complement the design and the figure. Her pieces are truly one of a kind and designed with the individual woman in mind.
“Even though designing starts with a dream… it has to work for [a] woman.” – Laura Smalls
Delialicious Picks attended her Fall/Winter 2013 presentation a few weeks ago. Click here to read that article.
Monif C. is unique in her own right. Not only in her style but who she dresses. This designer works specifically for the curvaceous individual allowing them to look beautiful and be themselves without worry of any fashion faux paus. Monif started her career in fashion after working in the non-profit sector and finding a lack of style and design set for the plus size woman. So, she started out on her own, traveling to London to start her own fashion house. She is now a sought after designer for plus size individuals and has been featured on Fox Business, ABC and Seventeen Magazine.
“Who Says Plus Size Can’t Be Sexy, Luxurious, and Feminine?” – Monif Clarke
B. Michael was born a designer. He grew up in a house of style; many of his style secrets coming from his mother. After designing for Oscar DE La Renta, B. Michale decided to launch his own couture fashion line; he is now sought after for the classic woman. He has dressed Halle Berry, Angela Basset and the famous Lena Horne. He also dressed Whitney Houston in her role in”Sparkle”.
“It is a modern approach to glamour. It is also about achieving a very sophisticated, yet simplistic look. A woman who wears b Michael knows how to wear a basic dress and make it look glamorous.”
Post written by Jolevette
Strong, independent, and determined are three words that describe Karen Joseph, owner of Ezzie Bliss, a newly launched online accessories store. This March, the single mother of three set out to make her love of fashion a successful business, while pursuing a degree in nursing – an unlikely career path for someone who has a background in accounting and telecommunications. As a young girl growing up in Grenada, accessories played a major part in helping her develop self-confidence.
“There were days when I felt ugly when I saw myself in the mirror; although my friends and family told me different,” she says. “It was those pieces of jewelry that made me feel transformed – as if it was like therapy when I put them on. Accessories helped me to build my confidence, and is now leading me towards my accomplishments. I hope I could relay this feeling to other women in similar situations.”
How did you decide on the name?
My sister Ezra is the inspiration behind the name Ezzie Bliss. Although she is my younger sister, Ezra has had a major impact on my life. She is driven to achieve her goals, she is caring, loyal and loving and because of these qualities, I look up to her and admire her. In Hebrew, Ezra means helper. Ezra is currently engaged and in August she will become Mrs. Bliss. Combining Ezra and Bliss just made sense to me. When I was thinking about the name Ezzie Bliss it meant “helper of joy.” In my life my sister and my family have been my foundation and my joy.
What motivated you to start your online accessories business? (more…)
I first introduced you all to designer Barbara Campbell in October 2011, when I attended one of her trunk shows at Bloomingdales in SoHo, where she was showcasing her Black and Gold jewelry collection. This week I had the opportunity to catch up with the busy designer to learn more about her company, where she gets her inspiration from, and how her business continues to thrive in the fashion industry.
Where are you from?
I am a first generation Cuban-American, born and raised in Washington Heights in Manhattan. Both my mother and father were born in Cuba
When did your company launch?
The inspiration for my company began in Vermont in 2006, overlooking a lake in the green mountains. The natural beauty of the environment started merging with my design instincts. The company actually launched while I was on the beach in Montauk. Once again the natural beauty of the beaches and the ocean convinced me that designing accessories that were inspired by nature’s wonders was something I wanted to do. The company officially launched in the fall of 2007. (more…)
Starting your own business is no easy task, especially in the fashion world, where competition is fiercer than an episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. So how does a young boutique owner stay on top of their game in a dog-eat-dog industry? We sat down with Michelle Akers, Owner/Buyer of the New York based online boutique Liveinfashion.com to find out.
Launched in December 2009, Liveinfashion.com, caterers to “the woman who is daring to be different.” The online store successfully sells out unique fashionable pieces, reflecting Akers’ eye for quality, and innate ability to sense what women covet when it comes to style.
Where are you from?
Wow…I was born in Houston, Texas then moved to Brooklyn, NY for a little while, then to Jamaica, Queens. Now, I live in Elmont, Long Island.
What inspired you to start you online boutique?
I remember coming home one night and just saying to my mom that I wanted to start an online store. I’m a very daring person, so when I dress people would always ask where I got certain pieces from. I decided that I wanted to be the source of “getting.”
How did you decide on the name?
It came down to either “love in fashion” or “live in fashion.” The slogan “Do you live in fashion?” just stuck and that’s how I chose the name. (more…)
It’s very difficult to find vivid, rich, long-wearing makeup, especially for women with darker complexions. High pigmented makeup is great for all skin tones because it will show up under harsh photo and camera lights, and usually lasts longer than other types of makeup. If you crave brilliant hues then read on.
Black Up Cosmetics is France’s #1 brand for women with ethnic skin colors. The products are highly pigmented, and were developed in 1999 by a team of professional makeup artists with women of color in mind. Now, the line has a variety of products that look great on different skin tones, regardless of ethnicity.
NYX Cosmetics was started by Toni Ko in 1999, and is now available in 40 international markets. The products are high quality and most importantly, affordable. The eye pigments are offered in an assortment of intense colors including Ocean Blue, Mocha, Lilaz, Pearl, Fanta, Sky Pink and Black to name a few. The brand also has a line of glitter pigments, bronzer, blush, and lips products. NYX is also a cruelty-free makeup line.
Mally Beauty was started by Celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal, whose client list includes Beyonce, Celine Dion, Rihanna, and Jennifer Lopez. She launched her own brand of makeup in 2004, and is a staple on QVC. The makeup colors are buildable, long lasting and dramatic.
L’Oreal HIP High Intensity Pigments are probably the cheapest high performance makeup products you may be able to get your hands on. Unlike the other makeup brands, you don’t have to travel any further than your local drug store to get them. Personally, I’ve found it hard to find a good variety of the product line available in a lot of the stores in the city. Since the line caters to women with darker complexions, you would have a better chance of finding good options in ethnic neighborhoods. When you do find the L’Oreal HIP line it includes ultra intense shadows and rich color combinations for lips. The high intensity pigments perform well, and are great if you are on a tight budget.